From raw coal to energy from waste
Come with EEW Energy from Waste on a journey that has its beginning in 1873 in the form of BKB in shafts and galleries weakly lit by the light from carbide lamps. And finishes in the 21st century in activities across Europe in the field of environmental high-tech.
Experience the metamorphosis that starts with lumps of raw coal and ends with the raw material of waste and its intelligent exploitation.
1873-1915 The Pioneering Period
BKB is founded in Berlin on January 26 with a share capital of 1.6 million taler.
Development of the first opencast mine, "Trendelbusch"
BKB begins to mechanize mining.
The "Treue" opencast mine opens.
BKB evolves from a mining to a production company as it commissions the Treue briquette factory.
Electricity generation begins - a generator is used for the first time in the "Prinz Wilhelm" underground mine.
Annual coal production reaches a million tons for the first time.
The process of consolidation spells the end of small operations. In the following years, BKB systematically buys up neighbouring mining companies.
The power plants, Emma, Treue and Harbke, go into operation. On June 22, 1908, the Duke of Braunschweig visits the Treue pit.
Merger with Harbker Kohlenwerke AG. BKB becomes the largest mining operation in the Helmstedt-Staßfurt depression.
1925-1945 Opencast mining and war.
Underground mining is shut down because unprofitable. Last underground mine was the South shaft at Prinz Wilhelm. Coal is now exclusively produced from opencast mines. In the 1960s there will be a further short period of underground mining for trial purposes.
Start on preparation work for the Wulfersdorf opencast mine. The first bucket wheel excavator is deployed.
The settlement of Neu-Büddenstedt is established further to the East as it is foreseeable that Büddenstedt will have to give way to the Treue opencast mine. The Harbke power station becomes a hub in the electricity industry. Lines are completed to Berlin and Lehrte.
The Helmstedt transformer substation is built. The training workshop with its own mining school is created. This signals the beginning of planned apprenticeships.
The indoor swimming pool at Alversdorf is built in the autumn of 1940. During the Second World War, BKB becomes a crucial company for the war effort of major political significance for energy.
Towards the end of the war, women, foreign workers and prisoners of war keep production going. Even during air raids, work continues under blackout in the briquette factories and carbonisation plant. On February 20, 1944, the administration building is hit by a bomb, killing eight employees.
After the war, the company is occupied by allied troops. BKB's operations are now in the British and Russian occupation zones.
1949-1969 Economic Miracle.
WBG is set up. In the summer, BKB runs its first children's holiday camp in the Harz region. In the following years, they are held on the Baltic coast, in Allgäu, on Sylt and Norderney.
When the border closes on May 26, BKB loses its Harbke power station, the Bismarck briquette factory and the eastern parts of the Wulfersdorf and Viktoria opencast mines.
1,400 employees from the Russian zone are no longer able to reach their place of work at BKB.
The Offleben power station is commissioned to replace the lost Harbke station. The capacity is gradually increased from an initial 100 megawatts to 770 megawatts by 1973.
The Alversdorf opencast mine is developed. Production comes to a close, however, at the Viktoria opencast mine.
Construction starts on the Offleben II power station and the Para rubber works in Reinsdorf.
The carbonisation plant is closed down. Its products could no longer be sold at a profit. It made more sense to generate electricity from lignite. Consequently the Offleben II power station came on stream.
The brand name for BKB's briquettes is "Ross-Vollglut". An advertising film about the product wins a "Silver Lion" in Cannes.
1970-1989 Power generation as the core business
Surprising increase in load: the fight between Joe Frazier and Cassius Clay causes a 20 megawatt power surge in the supply area. Thousands of viewers follow the live broadcast on TV at night.
Power production tops three billion kilowatt hours for the first time. In June, the Buschhaus miners' residence is blown up. It has to give way to the Treue opencast mine. Today there is a power station by the same name very close by.
BKB celebrates its centenary.
Development starts on the opencast mine in Helmstedt. Coal, natural gas and nuclear power gain in significance as a result of the oil crisis.
In November, the briquette factory has to run at full power again. It runs three special shifts to maintain supplies due to the energy crisis.
Briquette production comes to an end on March 31 with the closure of the Treue factory. The power station of the same name is also shut down.
The border post agreement is signed in the GDR's foreign office in East Berlin on May 19. It increases the mineable coal reserves in the Helmstedt opencast mine.
Development starts on the Schöningen opencast mine.
The forestry department plants its 6 millionth tree as part of its recultivation policy.
Construction starts on the Buschhaus power station with the cornerstone for the furnace laid on July 16.
Archaeological excavations start in the Schöningen opencast mine. Nobody suspects yet what sensational treasures will find the light of day.
The commissioning of the Buschhaus power station on July 30 is a further milestone in the company's history. At the same time, the Offleben I power station is shut down.
The flue gas desulphurisation plant for the Buschhaus power station is inaugurated on June 25. The first tank wagon is filled with liquid sulphur on September 8.
BKB is awarded the German Environment Protection Prize for its flue gas desulphurisation. Overcoming the inner-German division shortly before the fall of the wall: from October 3, block C of the Offleben power station supplies electricity to the GDR in a relay operation.
1990-2003 Waste incineration as a core business
Entry into the field of waste incineration The statutes of BKB AG are extended to incorporate the "construction and operation of disposal plants" as one of the objects of the business.
The last coal is mined in the Alversdorf opencast mine in September.
The forestry department plants its 13 millionth tree as part of its recultivation policy. A memorial stone in the former Wulfersdorf opencast mine commemorates this event.
Blocks A and B of the Offleben power station are switched off after the operating licence expires on March 31. In 26 years of service, 28.6 billion kilowatt hours of power were generated from 27.6 million tons of coal.
The Treue opencast mine stops production on October 20. This also sees the end of its train operation. Development of an integrated disposal concept.
Inception of Terrakomp, the composting plant and building rubble recycling facility go into operation on the edge of the former opencast mine of Alversdorf on October 24. The compost processed is from the Helmstedt district.
The companies in the BKB Group are given a new corporate design.
The local government gives preliminary approval for the Thermal Pretreatment plant for residual waste (TRV). The cornerstone for the Buschhaus TRV is laid on October 28.
50 % stake in the Salzgitter Waste Disposal plant (EZS).
The first alternative fuels are used in the Buschhaus power station.
Buschhaus TRV commissioned
Norgam set up to operate the Alversdorf mineral landfill site near Schöningen. The regional energy company, ÜZH, is taken over by Avacon. Avacon is one of the largest regional energy service providers in Germany - set up on September 2, 1999. Helmstedt becomes Avacon's head office.
The Buschhaus power station is certified as a waste management facility when TÜV Nord confirms BKB's capability of recycling sewage sludge economically and in an environmentally justifiable way.
The thermal pretreatment plant for residual waste (TRV) becomes a recognised waste management facility
Planning for third combustion line for TRV Buschhaus
TRV Buschhaus incinerates 1 million tons of residual waste.
Closure of the Offleben power station site and exhaustion of the Helmstedt opencast mine
BKB transforms itself into a disposal company
BKB becomes the centre of excellence for the incineration of waste in the E.ON Group.
2004-today nationwide waste incineration
For the first time, Buschhaus produces more than 3 billion kWh of electricity.
TRV Buschhaus starts construction of a 3rd line and MHKW Rothensee a 3rd and 4th line.
Terrakomp turns 10 years old.
The TV film, Tsunami, is made on the site of the Offleben power station.
BKB Hannover, MHKW Rothensee and the 3rd line at TRV Buschhaus go into operation.
MVA Stapelfeld becomes BKB Stapelfeld.
BKB Göppingen celebrates its 30th anniversary.
BKB receives an award from the Employment Agency for its training.
The ban on using waste for landfill leads to BKB's facilities working at full capacity.
Materials flow management ensures that the waste is intelligently distributed across the facilities.
BKB's training achieves third place in the national competition "Creating employment - companies show responsibility". The prize was presented by Minister for Labour, Franz Münterfering.
Construction of the replacement fuel power station Großräschen (plant located in Sonne) underway since the beginning of the year.
BKB plans expansion: facilities at Heringen (Kassel) and Delfzijl (Holland) to be added to network.
Federal Minister for the Environment, Gabriel, visits the TRV Buschhaus and comments favourably on the subject of "winning energy from waste as an environmentally compatible element in the energy mix".
The Regional Council of Kassel issues approval for the Heringen thermal power station, and waste incineration is also given the green light for Delfzijl in Holland.
Lines three and four and with them the entire facility of MHKW Rothensee are officially inaugurated.
BKB facilitates a dual study course in business administration in collaboration with the Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel Technical College.
E.ON Energy from Waste (EEW) becomes the future name of BKB Aktiengesellschaft with its head office in Helmstedt/Lower Saxony. The traditional company BKB separates the divisions of power generation from lignite and waste incineration. This makes it possible to rename the company and take on the E.ON brand identity.
The waste incineration division is directly managed in future by E.ON Energie AG in Munich. Generating energy from the incineration of waste is a core business for the E.ON Group.
The generation of power from lignite is in future conducted by E.ON Kraftwerke Hannover GmbH.
EEW acquires the shares of Sotec and thus becomes Germany's largest waste incinerator.
The waste incineration plants in Delfzijl (Holland), Leudelange (Luxemburg) and Schwedt are commissioned.
EEW's shareholder, E.ON SE, signs a Joint Venture agreement with the Swedish financial investor, EQT. EQT takes a majority stake in EEW with 51 percent.
The sale of the majority stake goes hand in hand with the company's divestment from the E.ON Group. E.ON Energy from Waste AG becomes EEW Energy from Waste GmbH.
EEW Energy from Waste is given a completely new corporate design.
EEW Energy from Waste receives a new member of the group and acquires IHKW Andernach.
EQT takes over the remaining 49% stake from E.ON. This means EEW is wholly owned by EQT. EEW takes over Stavenhagen Energy from Waste plant.
Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited takes over 100% of shares in EEW Energy from Waste from EQT.
EEW Energy from Waste is facing a new challenge and developing solutions for groundbreaking sewage sludge recycling.